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Second Life

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Join our host, Who What Wear co-founder Hillary Kerr, as she chronicles the career changes that can come at any age in our podcast, Second Life.

149 Episodes
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Noura Sakkijha, the CEO and co-founder of Mejuri, founded the beloved fine jewelry brand with one mission: to empower consumers to buy jewelry for themselves rather than waiting for a special occasion or a gift from a significant other. And with over 800k followers on Instagram and a game-changing weekly drop model, the brand is, simply put, crushing it. It only makes sense that Sakkijha comes from a family of jewelers. Still though, her career path was anything but linear. On this episode of Second Life, find out how Sakkijha went from industrial engineering to founding and leading Instagram’s favorite fine jewelry brand. 
As the founder of Brother Vellies, a sustainable luxury accessories brand supporting local artisan economies all over the world, Aurora James has been pushing the fashion industry forward and reframing our definition of a luxury good for some time now. On this episode of Second Life, we’re welcoming Aurora back to discuss new projects that have solidified her status as a visionary changemaker and industry leader—including the 15 Percent Pledge, a nonprofit advocacy organization urging major retailers to commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.
Sarah Paiji Yoo’s mission is simple: we shouldn’t have to sacrifice a clean home for a clean planet. As the CEO & Co-Founder of Blueland, a brand eliminating single-use plastic by creating innovative household products in reusable packaging, Yoo has become a leader zero-waste lifestyle movement. On this episode of Second Life, hear how Yoo has not only founded this brand but has also successfully started and sold numerous others—ultimately learning the importance of personal and professional evolution.
After over a decade, Elizabeth Holmes left the Wall Street Journal, where she held the esteemed position of senior style reporter and columnist to explore a career in freelance journalism contributing to notable publications including The New York Times, Town & Country, and more. Holmes also became a voice on social media through her sartorial commentary series on Instagram called "So Many Thoughts," in which she chronicles the royal family’s style. Now, on November 17, Holmes is turning the series into her first-ever book, HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style. On this episode of Second Life, hear how Holmes taps into her extensive experience as a journalist covering everything from political campaigns to the retail industry to bring us a book on the fashion and branding of the four most influential members of the British royal family.
After moving to the US at a young age, Camila Alves McConaughey embarked on an evolving, dynamic career path—from fashion and modeling to becoming a lifestyle expert and entrepreneur. Today, McConaughey is the co-owner of organic baby food brand Yummy Spoonfuls, and founder of the lifestyle and community website Women of Today with the purpose of building a space that encourages connection around family, food, fashion, wellness, home and more. On this episode of Second Life, hear how McConaughey learned from each experience to continually grow her career and the importance of never giving up on your dreams.
After 27 years, Jenna Lyons, renowned style icon and president and executive creative director of J.Crew Group, stepped down. There, Lyons fearlessly worked her way up the corporate ladder, ultimately creating an authentic brand identity through photography, styling, new designs, and innovative collaborations. But eventually, it was time for Lyons to create a new brand identity for herself. Now, Lyons has just made her debut in the beauty industry, launching LoveSeen, an inclusive eyelash line embracing all beauty aspirations. Plus, after two years of development, her new show, Stylish with Jenna Lyons, is set to release on HBO Max December 3. On this episode of Second Life, hear how—and why—she pivoted away from the world she knew so well to further manifest her creativity.
It all started when Veronica Garza, the founder and chief ideation officer of the Mexican American food brand Siete Foods, began experimenting with alternative food options to fit a grain-free, low-inflammation diet. As someone who suffered from multiple autoimmune diseases such as ITP and lupus, restricting her diet was a way for Veronica to combat her often debilitating symptoms. But it wasn’t fun. Missing staples in her diet, like tortillas, Veronica decided to create a solution: a grain-free, almond-flour tortilla that would eventually launch Siete Foods. Backed by her family of seven, the brand has grown to include 30 better-for-you heritage-inspired products and is now the number one tortilla and chip brand at Whole Foods Markets around the country. Pretty impressive. Also impressive: This was Veronica’s first foray into food after getting an MBA in digital media management and teaching a freshman seminar course at a college in Texas. On this week’s episode of Second Life, hear how, after years of struggling with her health and struggling to find the right career path, Veronica’s brand became a solution to both.
The term “supermodel” doesn’t ring more true than when describing Karlie Kloss. After she walked exclusively for Calvin Klein in her first NYFW show, the industry immediately started buzzing, and by the following year, she’d walked in 64 shows. Now, 13 years, 43 Vogue covers, and countless ad and editorial campaigns later, Kloss is becoming equally known for her work in quite a different world: tech. Following the powerful experience of learning to code herself, Kloss founded Kode With Klossy, a nonprofit organization focused on creating learning experiences and opportunities for young women in STEAM. Tune in to hear how Kloss went from global supermodel to tech entrepreneur and how she is inspiring the next generation of women to take part in creating the technology that’s shaping our world.
Sophia Amoruso is a serial entrepreneur and a New York Times bestselling author. She founded the vintage eBay store turned online retailer and phenomenon, Nasty Gal, back in 2006, and then scaled the business to over $100 million in revenue. She’s also authored three books, the first of which, #Girlboss, she turned into a second business as a community for ambitious women. But after three years of highly attended Girlboss rallies and the hit podcast, Girlboss Radio, in June 2020, Sophia stepped away from the brand to forge a new path yet again. Backed by 15 years of experience through the highs and lows of building and scaling businesses, she’s just launched an in-depth online entrepreneurship course aptly named Business Class. “Here I am at my big second pivot,” says Amoruso. “I want to share everything that I have learned and harvest that for another generation of founders.” Tune in for the story behind building each of her iconic brands and what she wishes she had known before starting them all.Sign up for Sophia's Business Class now through Oct 9th at: https://takebusinessclass.com
Renee Dua, MD, is a nephrologist and internist. She helmed her own private practice in Los Angeles and served as chief of medicine at Valley Presbyterian and Simi Valley Hospitals. But after years in the healthcare industry, and one particularly frustrating visit to the ER on the patient’s side of things, Dua had a lightbulb moment. In creating a new kind of healthcare system based around house calls and telehealth, she could cut down on patient wait times and create accessibility for those for whom getting to a doctor’s office or hospital is less than convenient. Now, as the CMO (chief medical officer) of Heal, Dua is doing just that. On this episode of Second Life, hear how she made the switch from working in the traditional healthcare system to creating her own system.
Annie Lawless is the founder and CEO behind the high-performance, highly pigmented, and clean makeup line, Lawless Beauty. The line has seen explosive growth since its 2017 launch, including being picked up by retail giant Sephora, in addition to its direct-to-consumer business. But before Lawless was creating high-impact natural makeup, she was obsessing over clean ingredients in another industry altogether: food and beverage. Lawless was a co-founder of one of the largest cold-pressed juice companies in the US, Suja, which, at the time of her exit, was valued at $300 million after investments from Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs. On this week’s episode, Lawless discusses what it’s like for a company to grow larger than she could have ever predicted and how to know when it’s time to walk away from something to find a more fulfilling path. Plus, she shares a killer breakdown of the factors to weigh when you’re seeking investment.
Reddit’s chief operating officer, Jen Wong, is a digital media expert through and through. In her current role, she calls on a plethora of previous work experience at AOL, Popsugar, and Time Inc. and is helping lead the 600-person company on the road to serious growth. But before she was overseeing business strategy at the fifth most visited website in the US, and before her foray into media entirely, she actually started out in finance. In this episode of Second Life, hear how she used business school as a career reset and put herself on an entirely new path—one that’s taken her to the top of her field.
Ayesha Curry is an accomplished culinary entrepreneur. Her foray into food began with a blog and a Youtube channel, which have grown into a community of over 9 million followers and subscribers. Since building her platform, she’s become a cooking-show host, a restaurateur with three International Smoke locations, an active philanthropist feeding thousands of families suffering from food insecurity in the Bay Area, and a best-selling cookbook author. Her newest book, The Full Plate: Flavor-Filled, Easy Recipes for Families With No Time and a Lot to Do, is out September 22. Curry has woven food into every aspect of her constantly evolving career without a culinary degree or any formal training in the industry. Instead, she began as an actress when she was just a teenager. Hear how she pivoted from working in Hollywood to creating a culinary empire on this week’s episode of Second Life.
Lesley Thornton is the founder and CEO behind the botanically based collection of high-performance skincare and multipurpose self-care products, Klur. One look at the assortment and it’s clear that Lesley has intentionally crafted every element of the line—from science-driven formulations to customer education to a sustainable business model. But her path to a crystal-clear brand vision wasn’t a linear one. Hear how Lesley went from working as a freelance makeup artist to an on-air beauty expert for the TLC network to opening her own esthetics private practice before embarking on a line of her own on this week’s episode of Second Life.
Sarah Sherman Samuel is a multidisciplinary designer working with interiors, textiles, products, and decorative arts, which she curates together to create truly remarkable spaces. She’s designed everything from rugs and wallpaper to hardware and tiles to the gorgeous homes of celebrities and tastemakers like Mandy Moore and Garance Dóre. One look at her stunning Instagram feed and the unique, blended aesthetics will give you more design inspiration than you’ll know what to do with. But before Sherman Samuel found herself on the interiors path, she bounced between many different creative projects—from graphic design to wedding and event design to photography and art direction. Hear how she’s used each one of those experiences to create interiors we can’t help but fawn over on this episode of Second Life.
Tia Mowry-Hardrict first graced our screens back in the early ’90s as one half of the iconic twin duo in the hit sitcom Sister Sister. Since then, she’s gone on to star in countless other projects—everything from Twitches to The Game to her beloved Youtube Channel, Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix—and over the years, she’s also added producer and best-selling author to her resumé. But after years of success in the entertainment industry, she’s used her hard-earned skills (among them, a healthy dose of persistence and fortitude) to found a company that’s inspiring women of all backgrounds to take charge of their wellness with her line of supplements called Anser. Hear how Tia has achieved longevity as an actress and forged her way into a new industry altogether on this episode of Second Life.
Suzy Batiz is a truly self-made female entrepreneur, and a successful one at that. Between her two businesses, the before-you-go toilet spray Poo~Pourri, and her line of natural cleaning concentrates, Supernatural, her empire is valued at over $500 million. But getting there was a long road filled with over 27 career changes, an abusive marriage, and two bankruptcies. Hear how Suzy persevered and overcame it all, on this episode of Second Life.
Nyakio Grieco is the founder and creator of Nyakio Beauty, an award-winning line of skincare products initially inspired by her own Kenyan heritage and family’s beauty recipes. Since its launch in 2002, Nyakio has expanded to include cultural traditions from 13 countries around the world that have been historically underrepresented in mainstream beauty and skincare. Today, the products are beloved and highly accessible via Target.com, but Grieco’s entrepreneurial journey wasn’t easy. After much perseverance and many brand resets, her purpose became clear: “I’m here to help other women, young women who look like me, know that they can do this.” Hear how Grieco went from working in talent representation at some of the biggest agencies in Hollywood to navigating and pushing for meaningful change within the beauty world on this episode of Second Life.
Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan have been writing together since they founded their witty celebrity fashion blog, Go Fug Yourself, back in 2004 as a way to procrastinate from their day jobs. Today, not only are the “Fug Girls” pioneers in the space, but they’ve also received rave reviews as novelists with the best-selling The Royal We—loosely based on the courtship of Prince WIlliam and Kate Middleton—and the highly anticipated sequel, The Heir Affair, which just hit bookshelves on July 7. But before they were writing novels, the ladies were working as TV series recappers, writing about shows such as Judging Amy and Making the Band, before parlaying that experience into working in the world of reality TV. Hear how the pair pivoted from digital to print and ultimately found their stride in balancing the two on today’s episode of Second Life.
Aminatou Sow is the co-host of Call Your Girlfriend, the “podcast for long-distance besties everywhere,” alongside her Big Friend and collaborator, Ann Friedman. On July 14th, the pair released their first book together, Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close, which has already amassed praise by everyone from Hillary Clinton to Roxane Gay to Vogue. But before Aminatou was a literary thought leader and media legend, she had a previous life in tech where she worked for Google and co-founded the Tech LadyMafia, a network for women who work “in and around tech.” And before that? She worked at a social media agency as an analyst and at a think tank in DC. Hear how all her experience has converged into one impressive and admirable career path on this episode of Second Life. To order Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close, head to www.bigfriendship.com
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Comments (6)

Kathleen Fuller

Loved this interview!

Feb 10th
Reply

María Eugenia Salazar

she is not so impressive, she has money and education. the hard thing is to star a new beginning without money , contacts, education

Sep 1st
Reply

kim phan

Beautiful talk

Apr 25th
Reply

Emil Prpic

Awesome episode!

Mar 18th
Reply

Niki Torres

love love love raissa and so happy to hear her amazing story. thanks for doing this interview.

Mar 5th
Reply

Cecilia Willeford

Raissa is the inspiration for the the modern woman. thank you for interviewing her

Feb 19th
Reply
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